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May 28 (Reuters) - Vegan burger maker Beyond Meat Inc said on Tuesday it would begin making its plant-based meats in Europe next year, in an effort to expand production outside the United States.
With more health-conscious consumers choosing vegan or vegetarian diets, the popularity of plant-based meat substitutes has been surging, resulting in stiff competition between Beyond Meat and chief rival Impossible Foods in North America.
The two companies are looking to get their versions of vegan burgers in fast food chains, with Beyond Meat supplying Tim Hortons and Carl Jr., while Burger King sells Impossible Food's patty in its Whopper sandwich.
Beyond Meat's new production facility in the Netherlands, constructed by meat distributor Zandbergen, will give it a leg up on competitors in Europe where the market for vegan "meats" is even younger than the United States.
"Localized production is expected to reduce the brand's transportation footprint, while increasing the speed in which Beyond Meat can get products to customers across Europe," the company said.
Analysts at J.P. Morgan on Tuesday estimated the total addressable market for plant-based meat to be worth $100 billion in 15 years, with Beyond Meat taking a 5% share.
Beyond Meat, whose shares have risen 73% since their market debut in May this year, partnered with Zandbergen to distribute its products in restaurants and retailers across Europe last year.
(Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel)